With more than 200 apartments and 22,000 square feet of office area, the two new buildings proposed for West Wilson Bridge Road would be the largest building project in recent Worthington history.
With that in mind, the Architectural Review Board and Municipal Planning Commission are investing much time and effort into making certain the look of the buildings and all of the details are as good as they could be.
During the Feb. 28 joint board/committee meeting, issues ranging from sidewalks and dog runs were examined, as were traffic generation and the overall look of the buildings, especially the larger one, which will face West Wilson Bridge Road, just west of the Shops at Worthington Place.
At the end of the four-hour meeting, the ARB/MPC was not ready to approve the plans and might even let Worthington City Council look at them before granting any final approvals.
The Wilson Bridge Road building would be two stories of glass-fronted office space, with three stories of apartment space above them. Following the grade changes to the north, a sixth story of apartments would be added.
Parking is on two levels behind the office space.
The second building would be all four floors of apartments, built in the west parking lot at the mall. Parking would be on reserved space west of the apartment building and in an interior parking garage.
ARB/MPC members do not agree on the look of the buildings, which was called by one architect "modern classicism."
James Sauer, an ARB/MPC member, said he would like to see more pizzazz.
The buildings need to reflect the vibrancy of the new look of the mall, he said.
"This looks like old school," he said.
A look that is trendy today could be out of style in 10 years, when the apartments could be sold as condominiums, ARB/MPC chairman Richard Hunter said.
"This may look staid, but it doesn't look old," he said.
The apartments are designed to attract people who want to work and live in the same place and older people looking to downsize, said Nelson Yoder, of Crawford Hoying Development Partners, which is the company proposing to develop the buildings.
Details presented during the meeting included a slight lowering of the first floor of the main building; a new entrance on the second floor; more elevators; sidewalks along the main streets; and a dog run.
The approximately 50-foot-long grass dog area would be north of the smaller building, along Old Wilson Bridge Road. It would include benches and landscaping.
The area for dogs was added at the request of ARB/MPC, which pointed to the lack of dog space during an earlier meeting.
A traffic study presented Feb. 28 projected the development would generate 104 inbound and 131 outbound trips during afternoon peak hours.
Traffic could be handled by the existing traffic-control system, which includes signals at the intersections of Wilson Bridge Road with Corporate Hill Drive and with the main drive into the shopping center, according to the plan done by EMH&T.